On August 27, 2012, Millsaps welcomed over 100 students from the University of New Orleans seeking shelter as Hurricane Isaac loomed in the gulf. UNO student Chountelle Hudson sent the following letter of gratitude to the Millsaps community.
September 17, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana
Dear Dr. Robert Pearigen and Millsaps College students,
First and foremost on behalf of University of New Orleans students and Pontchartrain Hall residents I would like to thank you and Millsaps students and faculty for your generosity in allowing UNO students to reside on your campus during a time of uncertainty. When questions arose regarding how such an arrangement was set up so fast, the shocking yet impressive answer was not that an agreement was in effect prior to an emergency but that Millsaps College was to lend UNO students their gym rather than dorms. My heart was consoled from that answer alone. Through your generosity we were provided dorms, shower rooms, and a living room, providing me and other UNO students with a more traditional college dorm setting and experience I will forever be thankful for. Thank you Millsaps because out of misfortune a blessing emerged into a bond and friendship with fellow students I know will endure for years to come. Sharing a living room, showers and a room itself where one was not separated by a wall unlike modern dorm rooms allowed for much needed interaction and bonding.
Simultaneously, familiarity is one characteristic comforting to the human spirit and when our eyes meets a familiar face on campus joy fills our hearts in knowing that Millsap kept us and bonded us. As students we smile and say "hey I know you from Millsaps" or we simply wave and keep walking with that same smile lingering on our faces!
With that in mind I would love to thank Millsaps students, faculty, and kitchen staff for their southern hospitality, thoughtfulness and understanding as both sides were curious to learn from one another. The willingness to learn and share one's story with one another caused for easy conversation and interaction, all healthy and helpful to the human spirit.
Thanks again Millsaps for an opportunity to see such a beautiful city and campus with beautiful individuals full of blossoming personalities. Thanks to you, Dr. Pearigen, as it meant so much to University of New Orleans students and their parents knowing that their adult offspring were well taken care of by your staff during a time of need and uncertainty.
Peace and Blessings,
University of New Orleans, senior
Dear Ms. Hudson,
Thank you very much for your kind letter of thanks to Millsaps regarding your recent stay on campus. On behalf of Millsaps' faculty, staff, and students, I am happy to say that you are quite welcome.
In turn, we at Millsaps would like to thank you and the other UNO students and staff for being so easy to accommodate. A tight-knit community like Millsaps is not accustomed to its student population expanding by 10% overnight, but your group made this accommodation not only painless but also pleasant. I met a number of UNO students when you arrived on campus, and, to a person, you demonstrated patience and resilience as you dealt with the inconveniences and uncertainties that come with being uprooted from one's home. Subsequent reports from other members of the Millsaps community have been uniformly positive.
Of course, we at Millsaps hope that no hurricanes or tropical storms threaten your campus anytime soon, but you have a home away from home here at Millsaps, if the need arises again.
Please feel free to stop by our campus if you or any of your fellow UNO students find yourselves in Jackson anytime soon.
Very truly yours,
Robert W. Pearigen, President, Millsaps College